By Mike on April 1, 2014 in PMP
After being in the business for over 25 years here are some of the insights I have learned nad would like to share with you.
20 Lessons Learned
- The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Enjoy the adventure.
- Get to know who is involved (stakeholders, sponsors and your team) and treat them like people. Everyone likes to enjoy what they do and a smile or a laugh can go a long way.
- Having said that – Know your management. Some like a good joke; others only like a joke if they tell it. Beware of the different personalities involved.
- Celebrate the successes of your teams and individuals on your team. Celebrations come in different shapes and sizes and there is no excuse not to celebrate.
- Scope – Clearly understand what the project is – how will you know if you nailed it out of the park?
- The Iron triangle – Scope, Resources (Cost), Schedule – there is no way to avoid it. Accept it and manage to it.
- The Project Schedule is critical – build it, manage it, and make sure everyone knows it, understands it in all its glory.
- Truly understand the financial side. What is EBITDA, ROI, CPI? Can you read and understand financial statements? If you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
- Change management process – has to be in place and something that will work for all the stakeholders involved. KISS principle – it doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. This includes your client. More is not always better – too much gold will sink your boat and a captain will go down with his/her ship.
- Don’t be a hero – you can’t do it by yourself. Work with and develop the resources you have. Leadership is a process. Build and trust the team members you have – the reward will be substantial.
- Don’t be afraid to make a decision –procrastination will kill you! Even if you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.
- Admit mistakes when necessary – honesty and integrity will make you stronger and more valuable and your team will support you through anything.
- Close a project – call it done officially. Team members must now move on to other teams and projects and feel ok about it.
- Project Managers do NOT just monitor work. If you’re a ‘monitor’ chances are you will never truly know what’s going on – until it’s too late.
- Meetings – a necessary evil, treat them as such. Clear, concise communications that have a purpose. Have only the people required and never longer than an hour.
- People are different. We all have reasons for doing things the way we do them. Most of us want to do a good job. If one of your team members is not doing a good job the problem is they probably don’t know how or exactly what is expected – fix the real issue.
- If you’re the smartest person on your team then you failed at putting together an effective team.
- On politics – 99 % of the time a political decisions is just that – a political decision. Do not try to find logic in a political decision. Accept it, and sell it.
- Shut up and listen.
- Finally – Take time for yourself – it is amazing how quickly time will go by. Family members, children, friends are more important than a career. Most people entering the work force today will have 10 careers. Your family, children, and friends will hopefully be with you until the end.